The Power Of Prosthetics: Uniting Disability With Superhumanity


As a way to empower the wearers and promote positive conversations around body diversity and disability,  Sophie de Oliveira Barata,  an artist trained in special effect prosthetics, founded The Alternative Limb Project in 2011. 

Limbs would be personalized as per the wearer, would showcase their personality and enable them to either fit in or stand out.  Imaginative and surreal by their very nature, the prosthetics allow the wearers the freedom to unleash their creativity in every possible way. 

Every single piece is designed, crafted and sculpted keeping the wearer in mind. What results is a personalised alternative limb art piece that is not separate, but becomes an extension of the person’s body. 

Models, Paralympic athletes, actors and many more celebrities and commoners with disabilities wear these  ‘accessories’, and we’re here today to talk about the three most daring alternative limbs and their wearers. 

Kelly Knox

Kelly Knox, a model who was born without a left forearm aspires to change society’s perception of disability. She refuses to wear prosthetics as aids, declaring that alternative limb is not a necessity but a choice that, when assuming her body as the canvas, on wearing, becomes art. 

Knox collaborated with The Alternative Limb Project to create some ethereal personalized pieces, including one that demonstrates her interest in the extraterrestrial.

However, the most reflective and imaginative type of prosthetic is Synchronised, the arm with a pulse. 

This prosthetic, that Knox regards more as a piece of jewellery, is made from electroplated gold carbon fibre and is covered in clear acrylic layers that mirror her right arm. 

Viktoria Modesta

Viktoria Modesta is a songwriter, singer, performing artist and a model. She started collaborating with AltLimbPro(The Alternative Limb Project) in 2011 and the company was commissioned to design and create an imaginative prosthetic for her music video.

The Crystal was made using hundreds of rhinestones, silicone and  Swarovski crystals for the Paralympic closing ceremony.

The most daring, dangerous and elite prosthetic limb we’ve ever seen, though, is the Spike leg. 

The bold idea came to Modesta in a dream, and thus was designed as the world’s most fearless alternative limb. What is this prosthetic made of, exactly? This leg is made with fiberglass and steel, and has expandable hard foam, completed with high gloss. 

Viktoria had an elective amputation of one of her legs from knee-down because of a health condition she had struggled with from birth. 

In her own words, “…when the limb is attached and I’m walking with it in my full composure it has a power that is beyond something that can be described.

James Young 

 James, a bespoke 3D printed arm was made by the AltLimbPro on the request of game giant Konami, especially designed for an amputee gamer. This type of prosthetic arm would have cutting edge technology, would have buttons for various grips and positions, it would be lightweight – the carbon fibre construction from none other than GTR – and would be able to pick up and hold lightweight things like a camera.

The name of the gamer is James Young, a public speaker.

The beautiful arm is finished in metallic caramel rum colour and, in James, has found a wearer who has been able to identify the arm as a part of his own body. 

Young’s arm also has a screen that can be connected with his smartphone to check for calls or messages, much like a smartwatch. 

Please understand that this is in no way an exhaustive list about the Alternative Limbs. Materials such as plastic, mud, oil have also been used to make versatile limbs, most of them bespoken. How these prosthetics work and how they make people with disabilities feel are important subjects to wonder about. We believe the AltLimbPro has united disability with superhumanity.

What are your thoughts?

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